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“Too little time to see it all”

Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Pequot Museum, located in an ancient cedar forest minutes away from Foxwoods Resort Casino, is the largest Native American museum of its kind in the world.
Reviewed November 30, 2012

Visited Saturday afternoon and took the guided tour and watched one of the movies. Excellent museum. Need to schedule at least a day to see everything.

Thank JB222Chicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 30, 2012

This is one of the best museums of Native American history and culture that I have been to. I first heard about it from fellow archaeologists who were all impressed by it. I have now been there several times, and could still go back. There is so much information to absorb there. It not only uses multimedia exhibits as many museums do, but also includes multisensory elements as well, whether it is the cold of a glacier or the smell of a campfire.

When we purchased our tickets this time, the lady at the counter worked very hard to find some kind of discounted admission that we would qualify for. She went through all of the discounts they had and what their requirements were. We didn’t qualify for any, but I appreciated the amount of effort she put into it, as well as her friendly, helpful attitude.

The one thing that made this particular visit unpleasant for us was that there were many school groups there for field trips, and they were poorly supervised. I have been to many museums when school groups have been present, and I have never seen any act this poorly. The museum seemed to schedule more groups than could be accommodated at once. If you are able to select which day of your vacation that you go to the museum, I would suggest calling ahead to see which one has the fewest groups scheduled.

The experience begins when you walk down from the lobby to the first level, where there is an exhibit hall about the tribe and reservation as it is today. In the center, there is a large three-dimensional map of the reservation, and displays around the edges of the hall about the activities of the tribe.

From there you go down an escalator which starts you on a journey through the past. You descend through a glacier, where the air is chilled and you hear the dripping sound of glacial meltwater. This floor contains detailed exhibits about the last Ice Age and people’s adaptations to it and to the environmental changes following it. It has multimedia interactive exhibits, dioramas, and exhibits of tools and other artifacts found in an archaeological context.

The next floor down contains an incredible walk-through diorama of a Woodland Period Pequot village. They obviously paid a great deal of attention to detail when designing this. You hear the chatter of birds and smell the aroma of wood smoke in addition to seeing the dwellings and mannequins. You are given a handset so you can stop at numbered stations in the diorama to get detailed information about the specific activity represented at each station. To me, this is the highlight of the museum. You are as fully immersed in the village as you can be without living reenactors. Don’t just rush through this part of the museum. Take time to take in the details. Note to parents: If you have a small child that might get upset at the sight of a deer being butchered, be prepared to explain it or avoid the part of the diorama where this is depicted. I saw one unprepared parent trying to cope with a very upset toddler on a previous visit.

The visit ends with an exhibit on the tribe’s history since contact with Europeans up until the present. There is also a gift shop and a snack bar. I would suggest skipping the snack bar, unless you are spending the full day there and need to eat. It’s not that great.

The museum as a whole is well done. The Pequot Nation has done a wonderful job of preserving its tribal history and of recovering more of it via the museum’s historical research and archaeology programs. Schedule several hours at the very least if you plan to take the museum in fully.

Thank wolfie_n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

When we came there on Saturday, we were able to avail of a special discount (Veteran's day weekend) and only had to pay $5. There was a Powwow event going on and it was a nice experience since we were able to watch and appreciate the culture of Mashantucket Pequot community. The exhibit was very informative, with videos, dioramas and visuals available for all. There were all shops and a really nice restaurant on the 4f. The building was really nice and clean. There is also a tower where you can go up and see the surrounding protected area including Foxwoods.

Thank liz j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We visited this museum while staying at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The exhibits were nice but very general. We could tell that a great deal of time and effort had gone into researching the Pequots. It must have been difficult as their tribe was almost completely annihilated by Englishmen and neighboring tribes long ago and not much is known about them.

Thank tgraysgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Lifelike dioramas and a storyline at each stop. Many different languages are offered for the stories, The movie of the history of the tribe is supberb.

Thank Thomas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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